Doc's Friends: B-29 Restoration Progress Update
For our aviation history / warbird fans out there, have you been keeping up with the restoration of "Doc," a 1945 B-29 Superfortress? It's a fascinating effort taking place in Wichita, KS, and one we're excited to see come to fruition, as avid fans of all-things-aviation.
From Doc's Friends, here is the background / current state of the restoration process:
Seventy years ago on March 23, 1945, a B-29, one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II, rolled off the assembly line at Boeing and was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces. On March 23, 2015, that same aircraft was rolled out and “delivered” again, in commemoration of its restoration and progress back toward flying condition.
The restoration of the historic warbird that will soon become the second operational B-29 Superfortress is now entering its final stage. Countdown to first flight is steadily approaching, following the ceremonial rollout of “Doc” earlier this year.
Doc’s Friends, the nonprofit, volunteer-powered organization restoring the B-29, is hopeful that Doc will take to the skies later this year.
Current State of Restoration
· The aircraft has been partially fueled and closely checked for leaks, with none occurring.
· The fuel system is currently being fine-tuned prior to pressurization and engine start.
· Turbocharger casings have been installed on all four engines.
· Engine exhaust system installations are nearly complete.
· Final avionics components are ready to install, including intercoms required for ground and air operations.
· Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review of Aircraft Inspection Plan is in process.
· Before the B-29 can be flown, Doc’s Friends must receive an Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA. Once the certificate is issued, a formal application, which has already been completed, will be submitted to the U.S. Air Force requesting approval to operate Doc from McConnell Air Force Base during the flight-testing phase.
· Doc’s Friends is currently evaluating options for a permanent home base for the B-29 at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. The organization will operate the aircraft as a flying museum to accomplish its intended mission.
· Doc’s Friends’ board of directors approved the launch of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help fund the costs of conducting the flight-testing phase of the program. Additional details will be released at a later date.
About Doc’s Friends
Doc’s Friends is a 501c3 non-profit board managing the restoration of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as Doc. The group was formed in 2013 and is led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner along with other Wichita business leaders; Charlie Chandler, Jack Pelton, Steve Clark, Lynn Nichols, Brad Gorsuch, Vic McMullen, Ron Ryan, Tim Buchanan, Jeff Peier, Esq., and Tom Bertels. Doc’s Friends is committed to returning this World War II warbird to the air to honor previous generations, educate current and future generations and connect the world to the rich heritage of aviation. You can find more information about Doc’s Friends at www.b-29doc.com.